The pause that refreshed …

Life is crazy and challenging and chaotic and uncertain. Not just for me, for everyone, everywhere. It’s important for our mental, emotional and physical well-being to shut the world out from time to time, to live in the light, to find joy.

Well, that certainly happened for me last Sunday … 

… when I was lucky enough to be one of about 35 people who attended a casual, intimate, private, classical music concert. Not in the evening, in a darkened concert hall, which is what you’d expect. This concert took place in the afternoon, in a sun-drenched living room.

And on this day the living room happened to belong to a friend and former colleague — Bryan Tenenhouse and his wife Cori Halpern. But it could take place in my living room or yours.

Have you ever heard of Groupmuse? I confess I had not, until Bryan posted on Facebook about a concert at a friend’s home he and Cori went to last Spring. At the time he wrote that he and Cori loved it so much they wanted to host one themselves. Which they did, over two glorious hours, on Sunday afternoon.

What an extraordinary idea it is. Anyone can host. Anyone can attend. That’s right, you don’t have to know Continue reading

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Day 29. Musical Interludes

Last Friday, Neil Fein posted about Simon and Garfunkel on his WordPress blog, Magnificent Nose.  The next thing I knew, I was re-living my younger days; and, in particular, remembering how much I loved their Number 1 Billboard hit, “Bridge Over Troubled Water” (and still do, for that matter).  Anytime I hear it, I am automatically transported back to those days.  It was the seventies.  When Nixon was forced to resign.  When we saw the end of the Vietnam war.  And when disco music reached its peak.

This little musical jaunt down memory lane reminded me of a man I’d been involved with, but not back then.  Fast forward a bit.  He was a director, and heavily involved in the music industry.  He always used to say, “The memories are in the music”.  And he was right.  They are.  Our time together went on for years and years; and music was as much a part of our relationship as we were.  I’ll spare you the details, but there is a memory of one evening I’ll share:

It was winter, and the snow was falling pretty steadily.  We were downstairs, in the family room.  No one could see in, so we had the blinds open.  It was quite late at night, and it was dark.  And as much as I am not a winter enthusiast, it was a very beautiful sight.  The pure, white snow on the ground was glittering and it was also completely unmarked — no dog or cat tracks or signs of human footsteps.  The snow weighing down the branches of the big, old pine trees looked like scoops of marshmallow fondant, that had just been dropped there, spoonful after spoonful.  And, of course, there was the falling snow itself, drifting slowly down to the ground.  Picture postcard perfect.

We had just finished a long, leisurely dinner, that we’d eaten in front of the fireplace.  ‘The man’ made the most magnificent fires I’ve ever seen and, because he Continue reading